How to Read Paintings: Chalk Cliffs on Rügen by Caspar David Friedrich

Love and danger in this beautiful scene

Christopher P Jones
6 min readSep 9, 2022

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Chalk Cliffs on Rügen (1818) by Caspar David Friedrich. Oil on canvas. 90.5 × 71 cm. Kunst Museum Winterthur, Switzerland. Image source Wikimedia Commons

This painting, by the German Romantic artist Caspar David Friedrich, was painted in 1818 on the island of Rügen in the Baltic Sea.

Chalk Cliffs on Rügen shows three hikers testing their nerve on the edge of a sudden and vertiginous drop. Ahead of them, a…

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